Can i install ceramic tile over plywood subfloor?

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Old 01-12-07, 08:15 AM
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Can i install ceramic tile over plywood subfloor?

I'm in the process of making plans for my new home. It's going to be of steel and concrete, with ceramic tile in it. My question is for the subfloor of the second level, i want it to be made of very light material(i was thinking plywood) but i don't know if that is strong enough to hold the structure and/or the ceramic tile.

Any thought would be of great help!

I'm obviously a future homeowner, not a contractor.
 
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Old 01-12-07, 08:34 AM
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Tile is not flex friendly, consequently, the floor joists must be built in such a way and of such material as to eliminate any flex in the framework of the floors. Plywood is commonly used to build subfloors, but is thick enough to not flex. There are official requirements in this regard, but I'm not familiar with them. There are other installers on this site who are and will no doubt fill you in on that. Tile, however, cannot be installed directly to wood. The two materials have dramatically different expansion and contraction rates and, due to this difference, cannot remain bonded together. A medium must be provided between the two in order to compensate for this difference. This medium comes in a variety of forms and is not really material at this early stage in planning unless height may be an issue, in which case you may need to get information on each method to determine which to use or how to plan in order to accomodate any height issues.
 
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Old 01-12-07, 08:37 AM
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I just noticed the "light" part you mentioned. In that case, Ditra membrane will probably be your best choice.
 
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Old 01-12-07, 08:55 AM
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Thank you smokey49, i just googled that Ditra membrane and seems like a good choice. And no, height is not an issue.
 
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Old 01-12-07, 09:37 AM
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What are youre concerns as to reason for wanting to use "light materials"?
 
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Old 01-12-07, 09:49 AM
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I just want to make a few corrections to the post: the house is going to be of
reinforced concrete with masonry exterior walls and ceramic tile in it. The locatios is of a moderate sismic risk, lets say a zone 3(according to the american sismic clasification) And due to this fact i wanted a light material for the second level subfloor.
 
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Old 01-12-07, 09:54 AM
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Im out of this one. I dont know much about earthquake proof construction. Dont get any in my neck of the woods.
 
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Old 01-12-07, 11:25 AM
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Ceramic tile can be used as long as it is properly installed. I recently purchased a home and tiled both upstairs bathrooms. I got my DalTile from www.xxxxxxxx.xxx. Very affordable by the way
 

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Old 01-12-07, 07:43 PM
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I would have to concur with Smokey.Ditra is the answer here.

I just installed over 700 ft of ditra over concrete in a walkout due to the possibility it the slab would crack in the future. A contractors personal home.It is amazing what they will go through to do it right in their personal homes

Look up the history of Ditra is quite impressive.
 
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Old 01-14-07, 08:56 AM
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ifllc - your right about the gc's. Ive given up on doing work for a couple of them in the past due to them not wanting to spend the money to do it right, but expecting me to stand behind my work. But when it comes to their own homes, a whole new set of rules apply. Not true of all gc's, but theres enough of these guys out there.
 
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